World Record Bear ScullThe Skull of the Great Hinchinbrook Bear

(Part 2) by Jim Urban

Copyright(C) 2003 Jim Urban

Part 1 The Hunt | Boone & Crockett Score Sheet

Not since the early 1900's when U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt put the "Teddy" in "Teddy Bear" have there ever been so much commotion over a single bear. Nowadays, when I hear the word "Teddy Bear", I no longer think of the cute cuddly stuffed animal we all dragged around by an ear as a kid. Instead, I think of the magnificent bear Ted Winnen took over a year ago on what turned out to be a hunter's lucky day.

Throughout the last year my Inbox has been inundated with Emails of mock stories and pictures of Ted's bear. It is not known for sure where the first "monstrous" story originated, although I have speculated and come to my own conclusions. Like all stories, it is only a matter of time before they get twisted and knotted up, but this story took on an entire new meaning of "Tall Tale" that it is now known as an Urban Legend. I have counted four variations to this tale, and all are as outlandish as the next. However bizarre the Emails seem, the fact is, they have unconditionally afforded Ted a Herculean status, whether he wanted it or not, and more importantly the chance for onlookers to treasure an immense creature in his final years. While both, Ted and I share vivid memories of a remarkable experience, to see the stories (true or not) and snap shots passed on to the world is remarkably humbling. Perhaps even more rewarding is in the Emails I receive from people who have never had the temptation to walk a rub line in search of a trophy Whitetail or put a crosshair on a sheep of a lifetime, but because of the adventure the pictures radiate, the individual has a newfound interest for the sport I ridiculously cherish. I hope they too can find the adventure in big game hunting.

So, what is and is not true, you ask. For anyone that has seen the Emails or heard the story, the following should make sense of the "Bear Facts".

Fiction

  • Ted is a Forest Service Ranger
  • The bear stood on his hind legs and then charged
  • Several people were killed by the bear
  • The firearm of choice was a .7mm, .9mm, or .500 Nitro
  • The bear weighed in at a whopping 1600 lbs and stood 12.5'
  • Alaska Department of Fish and Game seized the trophy because it was killed in Defense of Life or Property
  • The bear is a new world record

    Fact

  • Ted is a member of the United States Air Force
  • All shots were from ten yards
  • Ted used a Remington .338 Win-Mag hand-loaded with 250 grain Nosler Partitions
  • Live weight was estimated between 1000-1200 lbs and squared 10.5' (10' nose to tail, 11' claw to claw)
  • The season for brown bear was open, and both hunters possessed brown bear tags
  • The bear was estimated to be in his early to mid twenties
  • Official Boone & Crockett score is 28 14/16 and would rank 150 based on the 11th Edition of N.A. Big Game records

    Monster Alberta Grizzly Bear

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